Purpose is the fuel for decision-making. Purpose serves as a fulcrum around which all activities revolve. People go to school, acquire skills, seek jobs, get married, bear children and so on, all for a purpose. This same principle applies to academic writings.
The truth is, thousands and sometimes millions of people apply to study the same course in the same university as you. What then should be the criteria for deciding who is fit for this study opportunity without any element of bias? One of these criteria is the Statement of Purpose.
What is a Statement of Purpose?
A Statement of Purpose can rightly be described as an essay that serves to distinguish and give you an edge over other applicants. It is essentially an opportunity you have been provided with to clearly state what you represent, what you’re made of, and why selecting you as one of the successful candidates is the right decision.
It is an essay that describes to the admission committee your qualifications, goals – short and long-term –, and the reason for your course and university choice.
What a statement of purpose does is to bring the recipients of your application portfolio to speed on your academic background, achievements, objectives, and even extracurricular activities you find interesting. It also outlines other key areas such as research interests.
Reasons For Writing A Statement of Purpose
There are different reasons why a statement of purpose is a required submission for admission into universities:
- It describes your direction to the admission committee
The truth is, no school wants to admit a student that is seemingly without direction. They need candidates with clear and concise goals for the future; people who are most likely to use their education to create impact in academics, social, cultural and other important aspects of life.
If you have such clear goals, which you should, the statement of purpose gives you a forum for expression.
It could be that one of your greatest dreams has always been standing as a voice for the oppressed, and you need to achieve this through a degree in Law. A statement of purpose gives you an opportunity to fill the admission committee in on this goal. If you write your statement of purpose with as much conviction as is necessary to convince the admission committee, this would increase your chances of being selected.
- It serves as a supplement for grades
Grades are typically at two levels, either at the ceiling or floor level. If you happen to fall within the former, one of the expectations with your statement of purpose is that you convince the admission committee on why you deserve the admission, especially by highlighting your grades since those are particularly strong points. In that sense, the Statement of Purpose serves as a supporting tool to your grades.
If you fall within the latter category, you’ll also have to convince the admission committee that you’re much more than grades. It is thus best to take advantage of the chance you’ve been given to express yourself, and do so in your statement of purpose.
- It opens doors of opportunities to applicants
Usually, the admission committee are staff of the school. It could coincidentally be that your Statement of Purpose corresponds with the interests of one of the committee members, they could reach out to you, networking thus begins and your aspirations are given a chance to come true.
Basically, you should write a Statement of Purpose because you need the admission and this is the most common door to the entrance.
Other Admission Application Essays
There are a number of other essays that are used in a similar manner to statements of purpose, and they don’t always bear the same name. Consider the essays described below:
- Personal Statements
A personal statement is very much closely related to a Statement of Purpose. Typically, personal statements should mostly consist of a personal introduction, professional or academic goals, relevant skills and a strong conclusion that should tie all the points of the essay together.
Just like the Statement of Purpose, it is an avenue to express yourself and why you should be admitted in the form of an essay.
- Motivation Letter
A motivation letter, as the name implies, is a writing that states an applicant’s reasons for applying for a course in a particular university. It details reasons for wanting to study in a particular school and choosing a particular course. A motivation letter should highlight your academic background, skills, academic and career interests and why you think the school would be suitable for the development of these interests.
- Cover Letter
An academic cover letter simply refers to a writing expressing one’s intention to study in a school while detailing the applicant’s background. It gives the admission committee a peek into the applicant’s life and sometimes job experiences that are crucial to the admission.
All of these essays are not so different from each other, in the sense that they are used to describe qualifications, experience and reasons for applying to the chosen programme in your university of choice.
The most important thing to keep in mind with academic essays is that they should answer the question of why you want to study in your university of choice, and also highlight why you are a good fit for the chosen programme.
As long as your essay application essay can answer these questions clearly, you stand a good chance of getting the admissions committee to consider your application.